Breaking Into the HVAC Industry: 3 Ways to Get Started

There’s never been a better time to start an HVAC business, and here’s why: from 2024 to 2030, the HVAC market is expected to grow at an impressive compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7.4%. Which is excellent news for aspiring HVAC business owners and entrepreneurs alike who are looking for growth potential in a solid industry.

There are several ways to break into the HVAC industry, all with pros and cons. In what follows, we’ll take a closer look at the top ways to start an HVAC business and how to keep that business growing long into the future.


3 Ways to Get Started in the HVAC Industry

If you’re ready to dive into HVAC business ownership now without spending years working your way up, there are 3 ways to break in: start from scratch, buy an existing business, or invest in a franchise.


1.  Buy an HVAC Franchise 

One option would be to invest in an HVAC - franchise. Buying a business through an established HVAC business franchise comes with access to support services and other benefits, including brand recognition, established business models, and data-driven marketing strategies and materials. Select franchisors, such as Aire Serv®, also offer ongoing coaching, networking opportunities, and training—benefits that independent business opportunities often lack.

All these benefits are especially helpful for business owners who are familiar and unfamiliar with the HVAC industry. Franchise models like those offered by Aire Serv are designed to help you avoid a slower, bumpier start, and ensure you have expert guidance and support from day one.

If you already own an HVAC business, you also have the option of converting your business into the franchise model if your territory is available. Depending on the situation, this could provide additional opportunities for business owners looking to grow their business.


2. Start Your HVAC Business from Scratch (HVAC Startup)

If you’re an experienced entrepreneur, starting your own HVAC business from scratch may be your top option. To determine if this is the right approach for you, you’ll first need to calculate how much it would cost to start an HVAC business from scratch, factoring in licensing and certification fees, equipment, marketing supplies, and so on. You’ll also need to craft a business plan and determine your financing needs. 

If you’ve owned other businesses, this should all be relatively feasible with enough time and research. Of course, there is no guarantee that all that time and effort you’ll expend will result in a business that will grow with the industry, especially with no prior experience in HVAC services. Startups can come with a lot of guesswork that can sometimes result in delays and expensive mistakes.


3.  Buy an Existing HVAC Business

If starting a business from the ground up isn’t what you had in mind, you could choose to buy an established HVAC business instead. Buying an existing business can come with benefits like an established business plan, employees already in place, and even a list of clients they are currently serving.

Buying a local business can also be a bit tricky, as you’ll need to locate and research an HVAC business that is for sale – ideally in the area you are looking for and rely on the previous owner’s setup before you can make any changes.

While an existing non-franchised business may give you the jump into actively running your business, you will be on your own with very little support. Depending on the business you buy, it may or may not have much infrastructure in place. That means that once you sign the papers, you are on your own.

Another option is to buy an already established, existing HVAC franchise. This can give you the infrastructure you’re looking for while also giving you support with marketing and operational guidance. This option can come with additional cost in contrast to starting a new franchise in your area. By rolling into Aire Serv ®, you can take an advantage of a roll in discount based on your current bushiness’ volume of sales


Planning Ahead: How to Grow Your HVAC Business

Starting a business is just the first step. The real challenge is keeping that business growing and staying on the path to success:


Use These Marketing Ideas for HVAC Businesses

Effective marketing is a big part of owning a thriving business. In today’s connected world, you can rapidly expand your social media presence by posting exciting content several times a week— this could include posting several times a week to include business updates, HVAC industry tips, video clips, deals, and local photos and news.

You could also get your business name in circulation by sponsoring and attending local events, handing out business cards and flyers, and getting involved when you can in your community.

Another big part of effective marketing for any business is customer reviews. Online customer reviews are vital to increasing business. According to a BrightLocal survey, 92% of customers check online reviews before trusting a business. To encourage positive reviews, send brief thank-you email to existing customers after providing services, and include a link for them to post a review. Be sure to respond to all reviews, addressing any negative feedback promptly.

Other key marketing tools for HVAC businesses are direct-mail and email marketing. Savvy HVAC business owners use direct-mail advertising to promote seasonal services and use email to inexpensively stay connected with existing customers or reach out to prospects. You can also use either of these options to highlight promotions and provide useful educational information.

Finally, harness the power of text messaging and email to send alerts to clients to remind them of routine maintenance tasks like filter changes, as well as upcoming appointments and special offers. This is a valuable service that your competitors may not offer, and a way to set your business apart in a competitive market.


Use These HVAC Industry Insider Tips

Along with effective marketing, HVAC industry insider tips can give your new business the edge. Some of the top tips from insiders include:

Analyze Your Pricing Model

It’s no secret that the way businesses price their services directly affects their success. A popular HVAC pricing model is the “flat rate” model, which makes things easier for non-sales employees and customers, if you offer a variety of options or “levels” from which to choose. But no matter which pricing model you prefer, first consider it through the lens of risk management.

Offering service credits, for example, could attract more customers, but you’ll need to find out where that capital for upfront costs is going to come from. Keeping in mind base costs can help you establish where you can offer discounts.

Keep an Eye on Trade Schools and Education Opportunities

This can be profitable for three reasons. First, local trade schools are often a great source of talent. Second, they're a useful resource if you've found that perfect employee who isn't up to technical standards yet, but whom you're willing to groom for the job. Third, these schools provide opportunities for your business to stay on top of the latest industry changes, such as "Smart Homes" and IoT (Internet of Things) integrations.

Additional education opportunities are widely available via online options, helping your employees hone their skills and improving the quality of your services.

Utilize HVAC-Specific Budgeting Tools

HVAC businesses don't operate on the same cash flow patterns as retail or other industries. You'll need budgeting tools that don't assume you're going to receive an upfront payment but instead help you structure a budget and business plan around installation and services before payment.


Ready to Learn More About Franchising?

Aire Serv® is a nationally renowned HVAC franchise that has provided expert heating and cooling services since 1992. The customer trust and established systems we’ve built over the decades help our franchise owners stand out from competitors in the growing HVAC industry. Whether you’re interested in starting a heating and cooling franchise or want support for your current business, Aire Serv has the business opportunities, tools, and personalized guidance designed to put you on the path to success.

 If you’re curious about owning an established HVAC Franchise business, you can start by downloading our free Aire Serv Franchise Guide or visit us online today!




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